Macau-based casino operator SJM Holdings Ltd held on Friday what it termed the “grand opening” of a new gaming area at its flagship casino hotel Grand Lisboa (pictured). The new facility is understood to be part of an ongoing overhaul of the Macau peninsula property.
The new gaming area has approximately 870 square metres (9,365 sq feet) of space for gambling, with “more than 10 gaming tables and over 40 slot machines,” plus a dining lounge, the firm said in a press release.
The gaming area is located on the upper first floor – a mezzanine zone – of the Grand Lisboa casino. The new gaming facility had a soft opening in January, according to SJM Holdings’ 2015 annual results announcement, filed in February. The area was previously home to a restaurant. It moved out in July 2015 and has been relocated to another area.
SJM Holdings’ Friday press release did not mention the target clientele of the new gaming area. The firm had previously stated the new area would be dedicated to the premium mass market.
In February, SJM Holdings installed 78 live multi-game terminals on an upper level mass-market floor of the Grand Lisboa casino.
SJM Holdings was scheduled to begin this month renovation work to update Grand Lisboa’s ground floor. “When completed by the end of the year, the ground floor will have expanded gaming space to accommodate an additional five tables and 31 slot machines, plus new retail space,” the firm said in its annual results.
The hotel at the property is also undergoing a room renovation programme – its first major overhaul since opening in 2009. The revamp scheme, which began in the summer of 2014, would require around three years for completion, SJM Holdings previously has said.
Grand Lisboa offers more than 400 gaming tables, according to SJM Holdings. The venue also features more than 880 slot machines.
A number of investment analysts have recently noted that three Macau operators – SJM Holdings, MGM China Holdings Ltd and Wynn Macau Ltd – that do not currently have operations on Cotai, a zone for new large-scale casino resorts, are likely to face some pressure in terms of market share as Macau moves to a greater focus on mass-market and non-gaming tourism.
SJM Holdings is currently building a new casino resort on Cotai, and that is scheduled to be ready at the end of 2017. In February, the firm announced that the HKD30-billion (US$3.9 billion) scheme was to be branded Grand Lisboa Palace. It previously had the working title ‘Lisboa Palace’.
SJM Holdings aims to reopen the Casino Jai Alai on the Macau peninsula “later in 2016”, according to previous announcements. Renovation work on the property had been suspended since February 2014 pending government approvals and was restarted in May 2015, the company had said. Once reopened, the facility will have new facilities including a hotel with 130 rooms, restaurants and shops.
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"In the coming year we plan to actively tap into the overseas markets by identifying new business locations, keep on expanding our empire and also enhance our VIP services and facilities"
Chief executive of Macau gambling junket investor Tak Chun Group